Minuteman Missile Silo - History and Facts | History Hit

Minuteman Missile Silo

Cactus Flat, South Dakota, United States

The Minuteman Missile Silo complex is a Cold War missile site containing a control center and missile launch site.

Antara Bate

24 Nov 2020
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Minuteman Missile Silo

The Minuteman Missile Silo is a US National Historic Site which contains a Cold War missile launch site and control center.

Minuteman Missile Silo history

During the Cold War, a vast arsenal of nuclear missiles were placed in the Great Plains. Hidden in plain sight, for thirty years 1,000 missiles were kept on constant alert; hundreds remain today. The Minuteman Missile remains an iconic weapon in the American nuclear arsenal. It holds the power to destroy civilization, but is meant as a nuclear deterrent to maintain peace and prevent war.

The Minuteman Missile Silo site was one of many such sites which operated for over 30 years during the Cold War. Eventually, these sites were decommissioned after the signing of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in 1991.

The original missile site was vast and today the main attractions are spread out over a wide area.

Minuteman Missile Silo today

Visitors can tour both the control center and missile site, and can see the original living quarters and underground control facilities that would have been used by the original personnel. The tours then move on to the missile silo itself where visitors can view a Minuteman II missile through a glass roof.

Visitors should start their journey from the contact station where guided tours are available (note: it is advisable to book in advance as space is limited). It is also possible to view the missile site independently, visitors can call a number from their phones to access a recorded tour.

Getting to Minuteman Missile Silo

Minuteman Missile National Historic Site is located at three sites along a fifteen mile stretch of Interstate 90 in western South Dakota. The Visitor Center is located immediately north of I-90, exit 131. The two historic sites which make up the park are four miles (Launch Control Facility Delta-01) and 15 miles (Launch Facility Delta-09) from the Visitor Center. No public transportation systems serve the park.

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